The Anonymous Widower

Farewell to a Brave Man

I’m not the greatest fan of rugby union, but I can remember Andy Ripley in his pomp. Andy has just died after a long and valiant battle against prostate cancer. He will be remembered for a long time.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Health, Sport | , , | 1 Comment

Let’s Help Crime Victims and Families More

This excellent article was written from an American perspective, but it is applicable everywhere.  We spend fortunes on punishing offenders and not enough on the one hand providing services such as mental health care to stop them offending in the first place and also to provde real support to victims and their families. All we do is get more vindictive and cut services in the place where they might make a difference.  If we take Derick Bird, who so callously murdered 14 in Cumbria, was enough done to check he was the right person to have a gun licence and also did he get the mental heath care that he probably needed.  My GP worries about me, because I’ve lost my wife to cancer and can I cope with that and my strokes.

For those in favour of the death penalty, just think what difference it would have made to the Bird case.  It would not have deterred him from killing and as he killed himself, it wouldn’t have made any difference afterwards except to give a ghoulish pleasure to the tabloids.

If we retain the death penalty, we are just as inhumane as the likes of Bird.

Years ago, I met Jimmy O’Connor, who had been convicted of murder and sentenced to death.  But he was repreived and later married the barrister, Nemone Lethbridge.  He became a successful playwright and probably did more good in his later life. Do read the story of Jimmy O’Connor’s life in Wikipedia.

Where did I meet Jimmy?  At a children’s birthday party in Notting Hill.  Whether it was one of his kids, I don’t remember.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Health, News | , | Leave a comment

I’m Cheering Microsoft On

I have received this article from an anti-spam list I subscribe to.

Microsoft has sued Connecticut resident Boris Mizhen for allegedly gaming Hotmail’s spam filters and sending unwanted emails to consumers.


Mizhen, who previously settled a separate spam lawsuit brought by Microsoft, allegedly got around the company’s anti-spam system by creating millions of new email accounts and then arranging for those accounts to classify his messages as “not spam,” according to the lawsuit.


Microsoft also named other companies as defendants, including three that Mizhen allegedly controls: Media Network, Inc., New Age Opt-In, Inc. and Permission, Inc. Microsoft alleges that those companies all present themselves as online ad companies, but are actually used by Mizhen to send spam.


“Defendants developed and executed an elaborate scheme to circumvent Microsoft’s Hotmail spam filters to disseminate a large quantity of spam email advertisements to Microsoft’s Hotmail users,” the company alleges in its complaint, filed last week in federal district court in Seattle.

Good luck to them. I also know that Hotmail uses filter information from Spamhaus, just as SpamAssassin does!

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Computing | , | Leave a comment

SIngle Click Unsubscribe

I get masses of junk from all over the world and as I have two main e-mail addresses, it is often difficult to unsubscribe.

The best companies have a single-click unsubscribe, which is coded with the e-mail address.

Others however ask you to type in the e-mail address.  I then have to check to find out to which the errant e-mail was sent. before typing it in.

All unsubscribes should be like the first.  How about a £10 fine for every e-mail sent that didn’t have a single click unsubscribe?  Governments need revenue and this would raise a lot of money, cure a problem and the only payers would be unprofessional companies. They could always get their act together to avoid the fines.

Incidentally, I’ve just unsubscribed from the Sky Player.  It was one click to get the unsubscribe page and then another to actually unsubscribe.  That is acceptable, as I didn’t type anything.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Computing, World | , | 1 Comment

ITV Gets It Wrong Again!

I watched some of the Dutch game on ITV.  Where they give the scores they use HOL to indicate The Netherlands.  But the BBC use something like NTH.

Obviouly, ITV and most of their viewers don’t know that Holland is just a province of The Netherlands.

Perhaps, Ishould change the tag in this blog, before I get corrected.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | 1 Comment

The World Cup Goes Cuckoo

Or should it be cuckoo clocks, with the Swiss beating the much-fancied Spain?

And then we have the ambush-marketing row over the Dutch and their orange mini-dresses! I have every sympathy for them, as Budweiser is crap American beer, that has no place in a sport, that is not mainstream in the United States. In truth no-one should be locked up for the way they dress. Budweiser is also not gluten-free. so I can’t drink it.  I suppose if I were in South Africa I’d be drinking Diet-Coke or some excellent South African wine.  I’d love to know what coeliac friendly alcoholic drinks are available in the stadia for the World Cup.

It will be interesting to see what happens the next time the Dutch play.  I wouldn’t bet against enterprising street traders selling everything they can find in orange and we’ll see strapping Dutchmen in orange T-shirts with matching wigs.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Justice – Texas Style

This article from the respected TIME Magazine is chilling.

It further supports my view that no civilised nation should use the death penalty.  After all, the three biggest users of ths cruel punishment are China, Iran and the United States.  America may think they are civilised and many Americans are, but whilst some states still use this cruel punishment, that deserves to be in the dustbin of history, they can’t all call themselves so.  I had hopes that Obama would get rid of the death penalty, especially as most of those executed or likely to be so are Afro-Americans. He is rapidly losing any respect I might have had for him.

June 17, 2010 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 1 Comment